Friday, June 25, 2010
It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago there was snow on the ground...and today it's in the high 90's. There is always something that you can count on here in Salt Lake City...the strange weather. But now, the weather is doing just what it is supposed to be doing for a desert region...getting dry and hot. And I am doing just what I am supposed to do, and that is spending far less time in the hot kitchen and more time in the hot sun. This new kitchen management plan requires recipes that can be pulled off a bit quicker than the cold weather ones. (Please don't tell my husband...if he thinks for a moment that cooking is easy for me, I will lose leverage). Anyway, here is one of my personal favorite summertime flavors.
Fish Tacos! There is something about summertime that makes me crave fish tacos. The first time I had this yummy dish was on a trip to the Baja region of Mexico. this is where I discovered the taco cart....a gift from heaven. I had never eaten off a taco cart, and when I finally got passed the fear of food poisoning, I became a big fan. Now, you can find taco carts all over Salt Lake and at the Farmer's market. I absolutely love fish and this is a sassy way to serve it. The coconut gives it an island flavor and goes well with the sweet salsa. I topped it off with crisp cabbage and cilantro...it is so light and refreshing. These particular tacos, I used Costco's mango salsa. Yes, I said I used a pre-prepared product, It's not often ....but I do like this product.
The side dish is a super yummy bean dish, I call Ranch Beans. If you have the time to soak dried beans, that's my preferred method, but there is an easier method at the bottom of the recipe.
COCONUT CRUSTED HALIBUT
1 pound Halibut
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the halibut into pieces. Beat the eggs and dredge the halibut in it. In a pie dish, combine the coconut, panko, and curry powder. Salt pepper the fish and dredge again in the coconut mixture. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tender and flaky.
This same result can be achieved on the BBQ. I just preheat my BBQ to 350 degrees or medium heat. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the grill and cook the fish right on the foil. This keeps the kitchen nice and cool...and makes you neighbors hungry!
5 cups water
1 pound dried pinto beans, picked over, rinsed
1 12-ounce bottle of dark beer
1 cup chopped onion
4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-3 Bay leaves
salt to taste
chili powder to taste
1 jalapeño chili, seeded, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chilies
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine 5 cups water and next 7 ingredients in heavy large pot. Gently simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until beans are tender and liquid is reduced enough to cover beans by 1 inch, adding more water if necessary and stirring occasionally, about 2 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
Garnish beans with cotija cheese, chopped tomato and cilantro.
Use 4 cans of beans. In a pan sauté the bacon, garlic, and onion until cooked through. Add the beans and warm through. Next add the spices and beer. Cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover and top with cheese. Bake an additional 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with tomatoes and cilantro and serve.